CPW and BMA Wales join forces to increase uptake of flu vaccinations

elderly woman flu vaccine

Community Pharmacy Wales and the British Medical Association’s Wales GP committee have joined forces in a bid to increase the uptake of NHS influenza vaccinations.

It is hoped the collaboration will enable 75% of eligible patients to be vaccinated during the forthcoming flu season, which would achieve the Welsh government’s target.

A memorandum of understanding
[1]
, signed by the two organisations, recommends that community pharmacy staff:

  • Inform local GP practices as soon as possible that they intend to offer flu vaccination;
  • Encourage patients who have appointments for vaccination at GP practices to keep those appointments;
  • Target ‘at risk’ patients under 65 years of age and those who do not routinely get vaccinated;
  • Immunise individuals over 65 years of age only when the pharmacist considers them unlikely to attend a GP practice for vaccination.

CPW Chair Mark Griffiths said the agreement demonstrates that Welsh health professionals can work together to meet government objectives while simultaneously taking pressure off GPs.

He added: “There were 779 admissions for flu to Welsh hospitals last year, of which 125 people ended up in high dependency units. I am confident that with proper coordination and increased vaccine uptake we can also alleviate the pressure on our hospitals.”

In addition, GPs are expected to:

  • Include community pharmacy in flu planning discussions at primary care cluster meetings and considering how cluster practices, nursing teams and community pharmacies can engage and vaccinate those who would normally decline vaccination.
  • Inform community pharmacies when in-house vaccine supplies are exhausted.
  • Signpost patients who state they cannot attend flu vaccination clinics to community pharmacies.

References

[1] Community Pharmacy Wales and BMA Cymru Wales’ GP committee. GPC Wales and CPW sign memorandum of understanding to improve uptake of flu vaccination. 3 July 2017. Available at: http://www.cpwales.org.uk/getattachment/b92200f5-9640-44f3-8559-3153be562367/BMA-Cymru-Wales-and-Community-Pharmacy-Wales-(CPW).aspx (accessed July 2017)

Last updated
Citation
The Pharmaceutical Journal, July 2017;Online:DOI:10.1211/PJ.2017.20203139